Every worker in Florida has the right to work in a good environment. Howbeit, numerous employees in the sunshine state have had to contend with abusive and unlawful workplace bullying. Workplace assault and harassment have become very prevalent.
Constant insults, intimidation, or evident mistreatment can make the job extremely difficult. Note that a hostile work environment causes a great deal of discomfort and can impede your effectiveness and performance.
In the United States, a hostile work environment is a workplace where a worker is subjected to or made to deal with intimidation, verbal abuse, unequal treatment, or molestation, which causes the worker to be uncomfortable and/or discouraged to come to work.
In Florida, employees who deal with workplace discontent have protection under the law and the right of appeal. If you are subjected to any unlawful treatment for any reason, note that you are permitted to make attempts to protect yourself.
As a Florida employee, you have the right to live and work in an environment that is free from discrimination, bullying, and retaliatory attacks.
Remember that in order to file a valid claim against an employer in Florida, the actions and negativity that occur must be based on a legally protected class or action. Workers dealing with workplace bullying and/or bias can reach out to a hostile work environment lawyer to seek ways to guarantee that their rights are maintained.
Both the federal and state governments have passed legislation to ensure the safety of employees at work. Here are some notable Florida labor laws regarding hostile work environments to guarantee you are adequately protected.
8 Important Florida Labor Laws Regarding Hostile Work Environment
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The Civil Rights Act Title VII
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the grounds of ethnicity, skin color, faith, gender, nationality, age (40 or older), impairment, or genetic information. Childbirth, gender identification, and sexual orientation also now feature in gender protection laws.
It is imperative to note that it is considered unlawful for a business to torment or demonize a worker for any of the above reasons. It is also considered unethical to antagonize a worker for laying complaints that have to do with harassment and discrimination, whether formally or not.
Florida Equal Pay Act Claims Attorney (EPA)
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 mandates that employees carrying out the same job, no matter their gender, will have the same pay. While the Equal Pay Act was instituted to help fix the wage disparity faced by female workers, it also aims to combat sex discrimination in pay rates between men and women.
This law has mostly been practiced in situations where women earn far less than men for carrying out the same tasks. However, since the EPA is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it also restrains employers from taking revenge against employees who submit a claim under the EPA or work cooperatively with an inquiry of such a claim.
The Age Discrimination In Employment Act (ADEA)
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was enacted primarily to help shield people over the age of 40 from age-based discrimination in the workplace. The following are the ADEA’s most essential parts:
- Employers are not in any way allowed to discriminate based on age at any level of the hiring process against those 40 years of age or older.
- Employers are not permitted to discriminate in terms of age in job advertisements, the hiring process, or interviews. Have it in mind that age restrictions may be included in advertisements as long as the age is considered as a genuine occupational qualification (BFOQ) based on organizational needs; this is however a limited exception.
- Employers are also not allowed to discriminate against older employees when downsizing their workforce.
- Employers are also not allowed to compel their employees to retire early; however, they could still make available early retirement incentive packages.
- Employees who act decisively under the ADEA should never face retaliation for submitting a civil complaint, giving evidence, or partaking in a lawsuit against an employer.
- An employer may not significantly decrease or withhold benefits for older employees under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), an amendment to the ADEA. Nevertheless, perks for older workers may be whittled down only under certain circumstances if the reduction makes the cost of the perks for older workers comparable to that of younger workers.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that strictly forbids discrimination against people with disabilities across all aspects of public life, such as employment, education institutions, transit, and every other place made accessible to the public.
The law’s primary goal is to ensure that individuals with impairment enjoy the same privileges and prospects as everyone else.
It guarantees that people with disabilities have equal access to public amenities, work opportunities, transit, state and local government services, and telecommunication services. Title I of the act assists people with any form of impairment to obtain the very same employment benefits and possibilities as people without disabilities.
Florida Genetic Protection Law
According to reports, Florida was the earliest state in the United States to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which protects genetic information (GINA). GINA is intended to prevent health insurers and employers from discriminating based on genetic information.
When an employer leverages genetic data to reach an employment decision, this is referred to as genetic information discrimination. Genetic information discrimination can also take place when an employer retrieves genetic information illegally.
In addition, genetic information discrimination takes place whenever an employer illegally shares genetic information. It may be quite daunting to determine if genetic information discrimination has actually taken place. Owing to that, it is imperative you reach out to your boss or perhaps another manager at the company, your family, educators, or another person in authority first.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
This act makes it unlawful for any employer with 15 or more employees in the United States to treat female employees unjustly simply because they are pregnant, attempting to become pregnant, or have had a pregnancy loss.
Employers are not permitted to discharge or reduce the hours of an employee solely because she is pregnant or attempting to become pregnant. Keep in mind that employees are entitled to continue working for as long as they are able to do their job.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
This act mandates businesses with 50 or more employees to provide 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave per year. It can still be used for maternity leave or other medical issues. Aside from the 50+ employee precondition, you can use FMLA leave when you’ve been at your job for over a year and have spent at least 1250 hours during that period.
Pregnant employees may use FMLA leave for prenatal care and for periods when they can’t work owing to their condition, including when they have to contend with severe morning sickness or if their doctor orders bed rest. It is also worth noting that new parents can leverage FMLA leave to care for and bond with their children.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
In Latin, quid pro quo implies “this for that.” This sort of discrimination takes place whenever a boss or supervisor asks an employee for sexual gratification in return for a salary increase, endorsement, and perhaps other benefits. Simply put, the assaulter bases work-related decisions on the acceptance or rejection of sexual gratification by another employee.
Florida employees are also protected under the Florida Civil Rights Act. Whenever these statutes are broken, the employee must consult with an employment and labor law attorney to assess their ideal legal options. A lawsuit could be supported by several of these laws. It is dependent on the specifics of your condition.